January 08 2013
(part 1 is here) Ok I realize this is going long so I’ll start speeding stuff up.
Blah blah.. We land at this Raiatea airport and greeted by a dude from the “resort” that is our final destination. On the interwebs, the place looked amazing. Fancy huts that are over the water. Snorkeling. Cool pool with swim up bar. Spa. All that stuff.
We hop on a small boat and speed through the islands of the South Pacific. At this point, we were beyond Bora Bora. Beyond Raiatea. Friggin way out. Just like Captain Cook was! I was excited. Captain Cook sailed these waters! I was historical! The boat ride was fast and bumpy for 40 minutes — and then finally, off in the distance we pull up toward a small island. We see the huts. Thatch roofs. We’d arrived. After almost 30 hours.
Coolio looking, right?! We’re greeted at the dock by some girl from Switzerland who gives the wife a ring of flowers for her head. I get one thrown around my neck. They take our bags and ask if we want a tour of the place. We’re given drinks. A nice cheery guy brings us around the resort. He teaches us how to say ‘Hello’ (Ia Orana) and ‘Thank You’ (Mauruuru)…
The first thing I notice is how empty the place is. Probably fifty huts over the water and more huts all along the shoreline. The place is friggin deserted. I ask where everyone is. He says, ‘It’s the… slow season…’ It was weird. Sunny day. But the pool was empty.No one at the pool bar. Kayaks all beached on the sand like dead fish. The place was fully staffed but it seemed like it was barely open.
I ask him where the local town is. I’m informed there is no town. The only thing on the island is the resort. I ask if there’s other restaurants. Or a place to rent a car. Or shop. He says, ‘Everything we need is here at the resort.’ I immediately felt claustrophobic. It was like being on an empty cruise ship that was docked. But without all the fun cruise ship stuff. There were two shops. Two restaurants. A small gift shop with nothing. A scuba hut. A spa hut. And a fancy pearl shop that had pearl necklaces for like a zillion billion dollars.
We’re brought to our hut. Hut 39. Which was fancy and nice. Glass bottomed hatches so you can look down at the fish underneath! Feed them bread! We had a little side deck with beach chairs! Bottle of champagne in the room (part of the ‘package’). All very nice.
But the wife and I knew we totally screwed up. We were apparently trapped at this empty resort for a week. No exploring. No easy boat ride off. No other restaurants. No options. Barely any other people. I settled in to the idea that this was going to be an extremely relaxing vacation. Like extraordinarily relaxing. Like forcefully relaxing…
We promptly ordered room service. Guzzled the bottle of champagne. And then passed out for a solid 14 hours…
When we woke up, I pulled up the shade and looked out over our view of the clear blue water. Sunny with a few clouds. And there was a bright rainbow in the sky…
(to be continued)
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